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start up time


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#1 wkid

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:15 PM

  • Dell inspiron 531S
  • Windows XP Home SP3
  • internal hard drive: WD 160GB (82% free space, 7% fragmented)
  • external hard drive: Toshiba 320GB formatted with three logical drives (not partitions) - (ranging from 65% to 97% free space, <2% fragmented on all but the drive used for backup archives)

I perform most of the tasks included in the pinned topic about slow computers on a regular basis.

There are five user accounts and six users on this machine. All maintenance duties fall on me. I am diligent in keeping programs updated and performing security scans. The information detailed below does not make logical sense to me.

My user account has the most startup programs, desktop icons, system tray entries, and programs limited to an individual account of any of the user accounts on this machine. I routinely monitor startup programs and use Ccleaner on every account on an individual basis. Additionally I examine the individual accounts for unneeded temporary files and other junk which may be missed by Ccleaner. I generally find none.

I don't know if this is relevant or not. I am the only user who uses Firefox. All others have IE as their default browser.


All this leads me to believe that my user account should be the slowest to load to a completely functional form. Quite the contrary is true. All the other accounts are slower than mine. Some of them take three to four times as long to load. This is true on both a cold boot and switching user accounts. All users log off and on using the conventional method of: Press start, press log off, ... --- you know the drill. Any attempt to use Win+L is even slower.

This machine employs a cherry-picked suite of individual third party security programs and utilities which include:
  • Zone Alarm
  • Malwarebytes (retail version) configured for real-time protection
  • Avast
  • Super Anti-spyware (and some other anti-spyware programs)
  • Secunia PSI
  • Ccleaner
  • Acronis True Image (with scheduled backup tasks)

Scans are scheduled where possible in free programs. All others are performed at least once each week. Problems are very rarely found. My HJT log reveals no problem areas aside from too many users and too much stuff (courtesy of too many users).

Without becoming involved in a thread which spans 50 posts or a major overhaul of the data and programs in this machine, is there an easy way to pinpoint why my account is the fastest and improve startup speed of the other accounts.

Thanks for your reply,
wkid

Edited by wkid, 20 November 2010 - 01:16 PM.

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#2 computerxpds

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:33 PM

# Malwarebytes (retail version) configured for real-time protection
# Avast


Well to start off as you should know it is a bad idea to run to real time anti malware program at once as they can cause conflicts with each other and can cause slowness, also Check to see what programs are in the start folder. Try to limit what items start up when you logon.

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#3 ThunderZ

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:42 PM

Avast is an AV and MBAM is an anti-malware. Not really two AV`s and use different methods in performing what they do. It is quit safe to run them together. I do with no problem on one of my towers.

#4 computerxpds

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:47 PM

Good point ThunderZ I retract the first part of my post, sorry about that.

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#5 ThunderZ

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 02:02 PM

Not a problem and a very common misunderstanding. Running an AV and AS\AM are usually recommended now a days. All part of layered protection.

Back on topic. While I have not used Acronis in some time. I know it add`s a few processes and I think at least one service. A possible cause for some of your slow down.

If you have Secunia PSI set to run with Windows then it may be a source as well. Have read on BC that it is known to slow some PC`s.

I dropped ZA after many years of use. It noticeably slowed start-up and shut-down times.

I use Avast myself. Put perform a Custom install. I do not use IM`s or P2P as examples so I do not install those parts of Avast.

I believe multiple profiles will slow a machine as well. Only have one profile on any one machine so I can not swear to it from experience.

This is only touching the surface of possible causes.

#6 wkid

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 02:11 PM

Thanks for the input.

These are my startup programs:


Yes HKCU:Run Jing C:\Program Files\TechSmith\Jing\Jing.exe
Yes HKCU:Run SUPERAntiSpyware C:\Program Files\SUPERAntiSpyware\SUPERAntiSpyware.exe
Yes HKLM:Run avast5 C:\PROGRA~1\ALWILS~1\Avast5\avastUI.exe /nogui
Yes HKLM:Run YMailAdvisor "C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Common\YMailAdvisor.exe"
Yes HKLM:Run NvCplDaemon RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvCpl.dll,NvStartup
Yes HKLM:Run Acronis Scheduler2 Service "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\Schedule2\schedhlp.exe"
Yes HKLM:Run TrueImageMonitor.exe C:\Program Files\Acronis\TrueImageHome\TrueImageMonitor.exe
Yes HKLM:Run Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware "C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\mbamgui.exe" /starttray
Yes HKLM:Run ZoneAlarm Client "C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zlclient.exe"
Yes Startup User Secunia PSI.lnk C:\Program Files\Secunia\PSI\psi.exe


There are only four which are questionable:
  • Yes HKCU:Run Jing C:\Program Files\TechSmith\Jing\Jing.exe
    Often I find the need to capture a screen shot now. If Jing is not on startup, I may miss an opportunity. I prefer its features to using Print Screen when possible. This is enabled on my user account only.
  • Yes HKLM:Run YMailAdvisor "C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Common\YMailAdvisor.exe"
    I view this as unnecessary, but one of the users insists on having it on startup. I have found no way to disable it on my user account only.
  • Yes Startup User Secunia PSI.lnk C:\Program Files\Secunia\PSI\psi.exe[/color]
    Once Secunia alerted me of a problem not alerted by security programs. Since that point in time, I have decided to have it enabled at startup. This is enabled on my user accouont only.
  • Yes HKLM:Run NvCplDaemon RUNDLL32.EXE C:\WINDOWS\system32\NvCpl.dll,NvStartup
    One of the users requests its features.

The other user accounts are just as slim in startup programs.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think this addresses why my account is faster.

regards,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#7 wkid

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 02:22 PM

ThunderZ,

We seem to have been posting at the same time.

Note **In my previous post, I neglected the Acronis entry. It is enabled in my user account only.**

I have willingly sacrificed some speed for security. My issue is not the speed of my user account. Restating the topic of my first post in a different manner:
Why are all the other accounts slower, when all information I have scrutinized indicates that mine should be the slowest?

regards,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#8 ThunderZ

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 02:33 PM

If they are just as minimal in amount of programs then I would start by looking at the programs themselves.

Again, I can not swear to my statement as far as multiple profiles slowing down a machine but any program different then those listed that are installed in another profile that will start with Windows I would think serve to slow down the PC as a whole. It, I believe is part of the Fast User Switching feature\service.

One suggestion on scheduled scans. With Avast, as well as other AV`s, if real time protection is enabled on both read and write then when ever another scan is run, example MBAM. Then Avast is running\scanning along right behind it. Actually a pretty slick deal.

#9 wkid

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 04:44 PM

ThunderZ,

Thanks for the reply.

I am not familiar with the Fast User Switching feature\service. I'll have to research it.

Regarding scheduled tasks, I have them all scheduled to run when I am the only one using this machine. None of them are scheduled concurrently. This way I can respond to scan results as required. I find that to be easier than to remember to review exported scan logs. Sometimes I will run more than one manual scan at a time. I find this facility to be useful.

regards,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#10 wkid

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 07:33 PM

Thanks ThunderZ,

I found this article which explains Fast User Switching. Changing the settings resulted in noticeable improvement in startup/login and switch user login/out times. I'm wondering if this is caused by the OS having to sort through "more stuff" in my account than in the other accounts.

I'll have to present it to other users. The window which opens after pressing start and log off is different for each setting. I anticipate a problem with the Lady of the House. She tends to reject functional improvements which alter the visual aspects. That's a battle I'll have to fight.

One way or the other, I have learned something new. That makes the exercise profitable.

Thanks again,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#11 ThunderZ

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 10:45 AM

Glad you were able to make some progress.

Running only one User on all my machines my knowledge of multi-account PC`s is limited. Other then knowing that any PC I have ever worked on with multiple Users did need special attention depending on what was required. This included, but was not limited to the individual scanning of each profile, individual trimming of each Users start-up, cleaning of tmp files, along with a multitude of personalization settings on a per User basis.

Even the most hardware capable machines can become choked with multiple Users and a bunch of individualized start-up items, customizations per User.

Good luck in you up coming battle. :wink:

#12 wkid

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:18 AM

:thumbup2:

I understand the multiple problems from the GUI standpoint. I routinely monitor some of the things you indicated. I am in hopes that I have set a pretty good foundation in light of the fact that I am a relative computer newbie.

As for the battle, some battles are best to avoid fighting. You can win the battle at the expense of losing the peace!

:oopsign:

thanks again,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#13 ThunderZ

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 11:34 AM

As for the battle, some battles are best to avoid fighting. You can win the battle at the expense of losing the peace!




TOTALLY understood. :whistle:
Have learned after many years of trial and error to only fight the battles you can win. :rolleyes:

Glad to have been able to help.

#14 wkid

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:33 PM

surpriiise ... surpriiise ... surrrpriiiise ... (credit: Gomer Pyle)

The alternate Fast User Switching setting was accepted with open arms! The battle was won without firing a shot. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the help,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

#15 ThunderZ

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:43 PM

Peaceful resolutions are always the best kind. :thumbup2:




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